Skate Skiing Along the Icicle River

Last Thursday, the forecast called for rain in Seattle. I wasn’t okay with that. Instead, quick plans were made to head out east of the mountains to one of my favorite areas – Leavenworth, WA. In Leavenworth, it doesn’t rain in the winter. It snows. And when it snows, there are a handful of winter adventure options that lure city folk such as myself away.

The chosen adventure on this go-around was cross-country skiing. It had admittedly been more than a decade since I had been out on the ole X-country course. While sourcing gear for the day, the 16-year-old rental guide convinced me to go for a pair of skate (over classic) skis. He seemed trusty enough. I mean, c’mon, if a high schooler can skate ski…

I proceeded to ask if he skis much. He was quick to inform me that he skis most days to qualify for “nationals” each year. Hmmm. I bet he’s even one of these “I’m too good for my poles” types…


The day came, the day went and I’m now officially obsessed with skate skiing. If you’ve never done it, find an excuse to do so. Screw trying to look tough on the downhill slopes and pretending that you’ll someday be able to tackle a black diamond without your knees shaking the entire lift ride up. Real men wear tights, attach their feet to slick toothpicks and proceed to glide and dance across slick tracks.


Icicle River Map

Plus, I love that X-country skiing is all about the ski and stop. Ski, ski, ski. Stop, look around, breathe, absorb, talk with the locals about why I’m the only one taking tumbles on the track…ski on.

Snowy Trees

The best part of the day? But of course re-fueling with a beastly brat.


See ya again soon Leavenworth.

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